「大森茶屋」The Geisha of Tokyo

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A couple of weeks back I got invited to join the opening of a new “O-chaya”(お茶屋) aka. a tea house where Geisha are performing.

Before I get to all the details I’ll show my kimono outfit for the day as always:
Since there aren’t as many chic occasions to go with a little more formal attire I went full on..

少し時間経っちゃいましたが、この間は「大森茶屋」のオープニングへ誘っていただきました。

その前、いつも通りに「今日の着物コーデ」を紹介したいと思います。
普段はあまりお洒落なイベントに行けないのだが、今回は芸者さんと会うことで少し頑張らなきゃと思って・・ 訪問着を出してみた。

Geisha Tokyo

Geisha Tokyo

Geisha Tokyo

Kimono: Vintage houmongi / all over hand painted with a stormy ocean and eagle
Obi: Vintage Nagoya obi with Hannya design
Tabi: Jotaro Saito(斉藤上太郎)
Zouri: SALZ Tokyo

– – – – – –

I learned that the Oomorikaigan(大森海岸)area has a long history of geigi along with other districts in Tokyo.
Also something which always confused me until now was as to what the difference of Geisha and Geiko is..
In case you don’t know already: Geiko are in Kyoto – Geisha are in Tokyo area!
Also the Geiko apprentice are called Maiko in Kyoto – however Tokyo ones are called Hangyoku.
The more you know!

The new tea house is located in Oomori, Tokyo and actually in a quite modern style with tables and chairs to sit on. A nice arrangement to see the stage where geisha perform.

この新しいお茶屋は東京の大森駅の近くにできました。お茶屋を聞くととても古い家のイメージしましたが、とてもモダンな感じでステージみたいなエリアはあり、テーブル席からパーフォマンスを良く観られる感じです。

Geisha Tokyo

Upon arrival I was greeted and served with some snacks and drinks.
初めての経験でしたので大変緊張しましたが、暖かい挨拶で落ち着きました。

Geisha Tokyo

After a little chat with several Geisha the first performance called “shishimai”(獅子舞)- a special lion dance performed (only around the new year) was being shown.
If you feed the lion an envelope with money after the dance, he will do a movement which looks like he will bite your head. That is said to bring great luck.
(Hope it worked for me, ahah!)

様々な芸者さんとのお喋りしてから、獅子舞はスタート!(お正月の時期に特別なパーフォマンス、いつもある事ではありません!)芸者の「君蝶さん」に優しい説明や準備の上、少しお金をあげてみた。これで素晴らしい一年になるのかな?(笑)

Geisha Tokyo

Soon I could see some Geisha sing and dance. A truly amazing experience!

その続きは芸者さんの色々なパーフォマンス。綺麗に歌ったり、踊ったりして泣きそうになりました。

Geisha Tokyo

Geisha Tokyo

Geisha Tokyo

Geisha Tokyo

There were several performances by geisha from different houses across Tokyo.
You barely see as many beautiful ladies on one spot!

東京の様々な置屋の芸者さんは集まってきて、多勢でとても特別な経験だと思っています。

Geisha Tokyo

Geisha Tokyo

Geisha Tokyo

Thanks so much for having me!

お誘い誠にありがとうございました。

Geisha Tokyo

Ozashiki(御座敷)is not only for men but for everyone who would like to embrace traditional art. I was surprised how fun and easy the atmosphere was – I pictured it a little stiff to be honest, but it was such a great experience I didn’t want to go back home.

The Yoshinoya Geisha house also has a English speaking Geisha, Kimicho(君蝶)who is actually American. A great chance to learn a lot about Geisha and the arts and enjoy a night without communication troubles.
Kimicho actually became a dear friend of mine – she is a very lovely and kind artist. Not to mention the beauty 😉

御座敷って一般的な人は参加できないイメージが強いのかもしれませんが、「由の家」の大森茶屋はとても暖かくて楽しい経験でした。オンラインでも芸者さんを呼ぶことはできる時代になってきたので気楽に遊べて嬉しいですね。
本当に素晴らしい経験で「天国か?」「夢をみてるのか?」と感じました。印象的でした。
アメリカ人の芸者さん「君蝶」はとてもいい友達になって、芸の世界の紹介をさせて頂いて本当に感謝してます。

なお、外国人向けだと思いますが、下記の動画で御座敷の説明がありますので、参考にもなるかもしれません。

If you are curious how to book a Geisha and what you can expect from an Ozashiki experience the following YouTube Video is a great introduction.

 

More info and booking requests

Yoshinoya Geisha House(由の家):  http://yoshinoya-geigi.com/en/
Oomorichaya(大森茶屋):  http://omorichaya.com

(You can also follow Kimicho on Instagram to get more insights.)
君蝶のインスタグラムもぜひフォローしてもてね♡

(Kimicho 君蝶)

 

See ya,
Anji

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